An innovative method of communicating vital information to children undergoing medical treatment developed by a Lancashire entrepreneur, is now being communicated to the world with support from the Department for International Trade.
Dom Raban came up with the concept for Xploro after his experiences while his daughter was undergoing cancer treatment. He identified that doctors often directed their information to parents, side-lining the children who were receiving the often scary and painful treatment.
With his background as a designer running digital and creative agencies, Dom was in an ideal position to do something about it. He began developing Xploro – a tablet-based system that would provide children with age-appropriate information relevant to their conditions and their treatments.
Xploro is already being used by hospitals in the UK, America (including the prestigious Boston Children’s Hospital) and in Spain and Singapore, but it required further translation to enable a wider take-up on the international market and especially North America.
International Trade Adviser Jenny Mooney worked with Dom to access the Internationalisation Fund, a co-investment grant scheme initiated and sustained by the DIT and supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It provided a match-funded grant of £9,000 to cover translation costs for US English and Latin American Spanish.
Both language versions are needed to make Xploro acceptable in America. US English includes terminology and spellings that are different from UK English, and Latin American Spanish because it is spoken as a first language by around 13% of the US population – almost 41 million people.
Translations also enabled Xploro to get support from KidsX – an American paediatric care accelerator that brings together top children’s hospitals and digital health companies to build, test and deploy software solutions to improve paediatric care.
Dom explains: “Collaboration with KidsX and will enable us to get accepted more quickly and more widely in the US. We built the software so that it can be easily localised into different languages. The more it grows the more effective the system will become as we build the information platform to include more treatments.
“Support from the DIT has therefore been crucial to enable us to gain broader international acceptance of Xploro and we will continue to use their expertise and wide-ranging international network of contacts to expand the business.”
Dom lives in Preston where the business is headquartered and works with colleagues around the UK who meet regularly at offices in Manchester as a convenient central location. Health Innovation is one of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s priority sectors and it is hoped that successes like Xploro may inspire new and existing exporters to see international value and potential for their products and services.
Xploro launched at the end of 2020. Dom was originally the sole employee but he now has a team of ten which will grow to 25 by the end of the year.
He adds: “Healthcare UK – the healthcare arm of DIT – listed our company in the top 100 healthcare start-ups for export. Our long term vision is building a system for any patient, with any condition anywhere in the world.
“DIT has helped us with access to consulates and offices around the world and particularly in the US, to explore and introduce us to local markets. The team is very pro-active and helpful.
“We will continue to develop the system for worldwide use and also continue to take advantage of the support and knowhow of the international business experts at the DIT.”